Upper Brown street theatre formerly the Phoenix arts centre has been renamed in honour of Leicester author Sue Townsend, the creator of Adrian Mole, who started her career there.
The theatre was officially renamed ‘The Sue Townsend Theatre’ and a plaque unveiled by Sue’s family at a special ceremony on Tuesday evening. The ceremony took place before the world premiere of The Secret Diary Adrian Mole The Musical at Curve Theatre.
Students from Leicester College’s foundation Degree in performance art performed Womberang, the first play Sue wrote. As well as a dance and musical act.
Sue began her literary career as the writer-in-residence at the old Phoenix and wrote her first play, Womberang, while she was there. She passed away in April 2014.
Sir Peter Soulsby said, “Sue is, without doubt, one of finest writers the city has produced”
“She loved Leicester and she loved live performance, so it’s wholly appropriate that this venue – which is now inspiring talented young people to develop their acting skills – should be renamed in her honour.
“I am delighted that the students of Leicester College have been able to bring new life this venue, and very happy that the college and the council have found a way to ensure that the name of one of the city’s best-loved writers can remain in lights, where it belongs.”
Colin Broadway, Sue’s husband said: “Sue would have been embarrassed yet privately thrilled with the name change – but she would have wondered why her, and not Joe Orton!”
The theatre which is owned by Leicester City Council is leased to Leicester College as a teaching venue for those studying performing arts and music & sound technology.